Women Worldwide : The One from Chloe with Love

Nancy Zuccarelli is the founder of Chloe...with Love. A brand that one day she never would have believed would be hers. [...]

Nancy Zuccarelli is the founder of Chloe…with Love. A brand that one day she never would have believed would be hers. After years in a corporate career, there came a time when Nancy could no longer ignore her inner passion and true labour of love and her inner creative was unleashed to the world.

Nancy is first and foremost an ultimate boss. Her career is nothing short of aspirational but her tenacity and self belief is what really makes her stand out from the crowd. We spent some time with her to find out more…

Tell us about the journey that led you to launching your brand Chloe with Love…

It’s been a long journey, the majority of it was spent with me working in large Corporate organizations in Executive Sales Leadership positions, dreaming of starting my own jewellery line.  Do not get me wrong, I love Corporate, and I love leading dynamic teams, but part of me needed the creative release and the dive into a world that I am so passionate about.  Throughout my career, I would design pieces in my head only, searching for that perfect piece and never quite finding it.  I would buy myself jewellery every time I received a large bonus as a gift to myself to say thank you “me”. Working with many amazing women over my career, I realized that this little self-care practice I had, was not shared by many.  In fact, most of the women I met did very little to reward themselves for the amazing things they were doing.  It was a story I heard repeatedly.

Then I met Joe, my jeweler extraordinaire, he is a successful second-generation jeweler, who is well known for creating extraordinary engagement and wedding rings as well as other custom design pieces.  He made me some pieces and I was hooked.    Being able to have unique pieces made just for me added another level of sentimental attachment and meaning.

When COVID hit, I desperately felt that I needed to do something more with my life.  I made the decision that if I did not make the leap now, my dream would never materialize.  There would never be a better time.  I kept working at my day job and during every free moment I got, I started to work on creating Chloe …With Love.  Joe agreed to work with me, I had never worked in the jewellery business, so having him has been a gift.  The first thing I did was create my logo, then I decided what my brand would stand for… then the pieces started coming.  My first piece was The Power Within Me Premium Turquoise Pendant.  I drew one in blue and one in pink… the blue one came first….

Where did your love for stones come from?

So first of all, I have always had a passion for all the glitters and sparkles.  Another passion of mine is wellness.  As a child I would collect stones wherever I went, on the beach, along gravel roads, and in the mountains when we travelled.  I would always find stones that I thought were special, especially if they were coloured.  My mother also had some special jewellery that I would just marvel over… and still do.  As I started researching the symbolism of my favourite stones, I made the link with wellness and throughout my adult life I have bought stones as part of my wellness routine to help me find balance, peace, clarity and to reduce my anxieties. 

Who’s involved in the business and what are their roles?

So technically I am the only employee of Chloe …With Love… but I have worked alongside some amazing people in order to make this dream start materializing.  My husband Paul has helped me a lot and has been my constant supporter along the way.  He played a big role in the initial creative process by being my sounding board as I tested ideas on him constantly.  I used him as an advisor and someone I could trust to help me make the right decisions.  Joe Hasou, my jeweler, handcrafts every single one of my pieces.  I lay the seed in the design and he takes it to the next level and makes it a reality.   Without Joe and Paul, Chloe would never have taken her first breadth.

Other people I have worked closely with are Kristie Vinet who helped me build the website and taught me everything I know about how to keep it going, as well as helping me start my social media strategy.  She and I worked closely together for many months before the world got to see Chloe.  Sadly, she passed away from a brain tumour a few months ago.  It was devastating.  Finally, I collaborated closely with Alessandra Seca who really helped me build a PR strategy.  Chloe is in its infancy still, but I do hope to grow…

What’s the process behind launching a new piece of jewellery?

It starts with an idea, or a feeling.  Both Joe and I love stones and symbols and we play very well off one another.  We will usually go back and forth on a design.  I send an image to Joe with a symbol, what it means and what stones I think will work well.  He usually plays with it for a few days, adds his magical touch until he gets the right balance in the design.  Then we create the mould and start making our test pieces.  Joe is a perfectionist so usually the designs translate well into a final piece.  We have kept the designs simple and have stayed true to my original concept.  This makes it very easy to update the back design or play with new stones to create variations that may resonate more with some people.

What has been the biggest learning curve since launching the business?

My entire career has been in sales and sales leadership and I have always had lots of best-in-class subject matter exerts supporting me and my team.  Building Chloe …With Love, I had to learn everything and try and do it myself.  I am not a marketer so that has been a steep learning curve.  Understanding how to build my own website and the whole social media world has been huge learning for me.

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur?

Follow your dream, do not wait. There will never be a better time than NOW.  I wish I had started it sooner, but I am so grateful that my journey has started.  It is never too late.  Also, ask for help and get advice from experts.  There are so many people that can help navigate you through the challenges and unknowns.

The jewellery industry is so fast changing, what trends do you expect to see coming through in the next few years?

I see people wanting jewelers to use more sustainable materials, recycled metals, non-conflict stones, even Pandora announcing they are moving to lab grown diamonds is huge but not a surprise as I see more and more people making those buying choices.  I also see a trend towards people wanting more unique and affordable luxuries.

Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently? 

For the most part, I surrounded myself with experts so that I could learn.  I did make a few mistakes by working with some companies that were not experts in jewellery and were looking for me to teach them.  I think maybe the only thing I would do a little differently, is perhaps a little more research before making expensive buying decisions to ensure that I was partnering with people who were experts in the jewellery field.  Every field or industry has its unique nuances and its understanding those nuances that enable the outcomes you need.  At times it was incredibly stressful as I didn’t have the knowledge to direct activities I needed done but I was paying for someone else to learn what they probably should have been experts in already.

How would you describe your personal style?

I think I have a few styles. Doesn’t everyone?  My “go-to” looks are a little boho chic, I love colourful floral blouses and dresses in flowing fabrics.  I live in denim most days outside of work.  My workdays, prior to COVID, were more formal Corporate looks, which I love too.  Nothing feels better than a well-made suit and the highest of high stilettos.  No matter what I wear, I always add jewellery to my look and a spray of perfume.  

Talk us through an average day in your life…

I usually wake up between 5am and 5:30am.  I have 5 dogs so my early morning is getting them up, feeding them and then letting them settle down so my husband and I can do our yoga.  We do yoga every day, it’s a ritual we both love.  After yoga, we walk our pups.  We live in the country, so our walks are along a dirt country road passing farms, fields, forests, and rivers.  It is quite magical.  After our walk, my husband always makes me the most amazing Flat White Oat Milk Latte and then I start working in my office upstairs.  My day job is quite intensive, and the days are long. I usually work straight through to dinner time at around 6:30pm.  My only breaks are doggie pee breaks and preparing a quick cup of tea.  My husband and I usually have very simple dinners during the week.  We fit in another dog walk and then I start working on Chloe …With Love.  That’s a typical Monday to Friday,

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand? 

Well I am working on the journey to success as we are a new brand and we are totally dependent on social media as we only have an online presence.  I am learning more and more every day, but, there is a lot to learn and it is ever changing. 

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Oh I am travel starved right now.  COVID has been tough on us for that.  I cannot wait to get back to Arizona.  One of my most favourite places on this earth is Sedona.  It is a magical place, with intense vibrations for me.  I usually go every year and it just inspires me.  I cannot only pick one place though as I want to go back to Europe and spend more time in Vienna, London and Paris. I love oceans and mountains and we usually spend time in each of those places a few times a year.

What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation? 

I love quotes and read many all the time.  When I need that extra motivation though it is not a quote I go to, it is my own breath and my own voice saying, Nancy, breathe, you can do it, just get it done.  I self-talk often and I push myself to always put my best forward and finish what I start.

What’s next for the business? 

We’ve just started so the goal is to just persevere and continue the journey.  I just want more people to get to know us and take away the message that they are worthy of their own love, self-care and gratitude.

What does self care mean to you?

Self-care is so important to me.  It is taking care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual self.  I do not rely on others to nurture me, I nurture myself.  I eat well, I follow a plant-based diet, I exercise, and when I need to, I show myself forgiveness and care.  Self-care is also showing up for myself with gratitude.  It is my mind and my body that have given me the ability to live the life I have, and I am grateful for it.  I treat myself because It makes me feel good and I am worth it.

Where can people find out more?

You can visit us at 

website www.chloewithlove.com

Instagram @chloewithlovejewellery

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/chloewithlovejewellery/

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Laura Bartlett

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